The Benefits of Using WebDriver, a W3C standard, in Test Automation

The best stuff comes free (as in freedom and free beer)

Zhimin Zhan
7 min readJan 24, 2023


Many automated testers at my age have tried many web test automation (end-to-end, functional) frameworks or tools at work and failed (check out the Definition of End-to-End Test Automation Success), such as

  • HP Quick Test Pro, IBM Rational Functional Tester, Microsoft Coded UI Test, TestComplete, Tosca, Ranorex
  • PhantomJS, Protractor, TestCafe, Puppeteer, Cypress and Playwright

My list is much shorter: Watir (2005–2011) and raw Selenium WebDriver (2011 — today), both with RSpec syntax framework, with a 100% success rate and 10X+ productivity (long-time readers have seen some stats and test reports).

Table of Contents:
I have been testing exactly the same way, using raw Selenium WebDriver with RSpec, since 2011
The benefits of sticking with WebDriver
1. Worry-free
2. Free (as in freedom and free beer)
3. Better, in almost every aspect
4. I applied it to Desktop Test Automation
5. My daughter is applying to Mobile Test Automation

I have been testing websites exactly the same way, using raw Selenium WebDriver with RSpec, since 2011

I started learning Test Automation in 2005 with Watir and switched to Selenium WebDriver (aka. Selenium 2) when it was released in 2011. I have been doing web test automation (and others, which will show shortly) exactly the same way, using raw Selenium WebDriver with RSpec. Yes, I am very productive, generally 10X to 100X more productive than others. I reached Level 4 of AgileWay Continuous Testing Grading.

A recent run of the WhenWise regression suite, consisting of 559 raw Selenium WebDriver tests, run in a BuildWise CT Server with 5 build agents.

This does not mean I am narrow-minded. Software Engineers tend to be fixated/biased on a preferred language. I am probably more objective than most, as My Selenium Recipes Book series…



Zhimin Zhan

Test automation & CT coach, author, speaker and award-winning software developer. Help teams succeed with Agile/DevOps by implementing real Continuous Testing.